O Rex Gentium!
In what can only be described as extreme irony, the King of All Nations is born in abject poverty in a Middle Eastern backwater. His mother and father were respectable folk, of that it is sure, but the consequences of his birth were not instantly revealed. It would take another thirty or so years before his true nature as King would be made known to all nations – the King of Peace who died as he had been born: in poverty, stripped naked, under the loving gaze of his mother. And we are left to ask ourselves whether or not we allow Jesus and his love to rule our hearts and minds, to let God’s dream be born again in that incarnation that never ceases. As we rise each day, we remember a Christ whose powerful touch and loving sacrifice renews and reinvigorates us – the gift that keeps on giving.
READING FOR SATURDAY, 22nd DECEMBER
A reading from ‘The Lauds”, by Jacopone da Todi.
Hail, Virgin, more than woman, holy, blessed Mary! More than woman, I say: for humankind,
as scripture teaches us, is born in sin;
in you, holiness preceded birth.
Womb-hidden, a mighty presence enfolded you and shielded you from all contagion.
The sin that Adam sowed did not take root in you; no sin, great or small, has place in you.
High above all others is your virginity and your consecration. Your secret virgin vow leads you,
all unaware of charity’s intent,
to a wedding feast, to your spouse.
The high-born messenger’s annunciation strikes fear in your heart:
‘If you accept the counsel I bring, you will conceive a son without peer.’ ‘0 Virgin, assent, assent!’, the multitude cries out.
‘If aid does not come quickly, we shall hurtle to our doom.’
You consented, and so conceived the loving Christ
and gave him to those who had lost their way.
Conception by a word stuns worldly wisdom –
to conceive without corruption, untouched, intact!
Reason and experience know nothing of such a possibility,
never was woman made pregnant without seed You alone,
Mary Immaculate, you alone; in you the Word, creans omnia,
residing in majesty, becomes flesh, God Incarnate.
Oh, king of us all.
I find myself standing before
your strength and splendor
and filled with total joy.
You have lifted my mind in hope.
Now help me to open my life
the the coming of the Spirit.
I want to be like Mary, your mother.
Her wonderful courage and strength
inspire me to do the same.
She simply said Yes
and the impossible was done.
Thank you for this Advent journey.
The anticipation has filled my life
and made me long for
a closer relationship with you.
My life gets so busy that I forget to focus.
Thank you for guidance.
Thank you for the quiet moments
when I have felt your love.
Nothing will be impossible with God.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!